"No genuine creation is without result. A mold [Form] may be placed upon a shelf awaiting the molten in due time. But the shape [Form] exists in the universe where existence it had not before. Its eternal quality is not limited by the small manifestation of form which may at any one time be made by its means. The mold [Form] is intact for the uses of harmony at its need. . .
The mold gains strength and substance by use." |
One of Plato's most important projects was the search for and investigation of the Form Commonwealth--which included societal archetypes, patterns of behavior, and human objectives. In Plato's quest for the Commonwealth Form he was seeking more than a mere accumulation of haphazard historical facts about humankind's political and social life. He was questing after the supersensible Form Commonwealth, a comprehensive Model that would make possible a more perfect terrestrial embodiment of the Commonwealth Form.
"If man desires a better world, if he wishes to shape positive events, he must also know how to contemplate the archetypal so as to bring the sensible world into as great a conformity with the intelligible world as possible; there he bears immense responsibility on the existential plane in which he lives. If on this plane things do not proceed as they should this is because the individual does not know how to build according to the laws of ideal harmony. . .|
"Man is a second demiurge whose task is to carry the intelligible into the sensible and the sensible into the intelligible plane. This world is in ruins because man wishes it so, but it could be different if he strove with humility to discover his internal Ruler, first of all, and then to contemplate what is perfect at certain levels of being."
In a similar vein to Plato, this Perennialist novella imaginatively creates a social archetype of the Ideal State--the New Commonwealth:
"A true philosopher cannot help patterning himself on those with whom he holds reverential dialectical interchange. And if he is called upon to fashion the archetype of a true Commonwealth he will construct it of those elements which he perceives in the higher realm of Forms: goodness, justice, and every civil virtue. To be of the highest quality, a State must be designed by a philosophical artist who is inspired to structure it according to the heavenly archetype."|
"It is necessary, in the first place, to turn our attention constantly and continuously to the higher ideal which we wish to realise; to the highest ideal
we can form of truth, goodness, and beauty. In proportion as we can do this we shall find truth, goodness, and beauty becoming realised in our
nature. The practical outcome of an intelligent realisation of the existence of our higher divine Self, is the opening up, as it were, of a channel of
communication through which the higher can flow into, and manifest in, the lower. There is an actual structural alteration in the physical body and
nerve centres. Every thought conditions a definite physiological change. We shut out the higher possibilities by thought alone, by thinking ourselves
separate. Just in proportion as we think of ourselves as divine, in proportion as we realise that the divine is within us, shall we come to a conscious
realisation of our divine nature and powers. Nor is there any other path by which this may be accomplished."|
We're able to understand and realize the Commonwealth Form through study of Plato's teachings, through Dialectical Interchange with others interested in Commonwealth, and through creating a new, contemporary imaginatively created Pattern delineating how small, experimental communities come into being, determining through their common experience which structures and methods are effective and beneficial. This imaginatively created Pattern--the Novella--explores how these communities train in Dialectical Interchange and group decision-making in building effective equalitarian communities and how they then fecundate the larger society with their knowledge.
There have been many historical political "experiments" that provide some insight into the essential features of a commonwealth: fifth century Athens, the Venetian republic, and the United States, among others. And there have been a number of "utopias," imaginatively created accounts of idealized communities. But all these are merely distant approximations of the Form Commonwealth, which we must understand if we're to create a commonwealth movement.
"The first requirement in the possible creation of the new society is to be aware of the almost insurmountable difficulties that such an attempt must face."|
The model community introduced through this preface is of the type referred to as an intentional community: a planned residential community designed from its inception to possess a high degree of social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an intentional community typically hold a common social, political, religious, and spiritual vision and often follow an alternative lifestyle. They typically share responsibilities and resources.
The type of community envisaged is intentional in the sense of creating a new grouping of qualified persons, not attempting to work with a pre-existing group or community. This prototype sees the community consisting exclusively of members who have successfully completed a training program that assures they possess previously determined skills, capabilities, and values. Persons, then could not be a member of this community, simply by virtue of the fact that they already resided in a particular town or city.
A cooperative commonwealth community can succeed only if all its members share the requisite values and possess the necessary capabilities. Communities, cultures, and civilizations of the past have all failed because even when there were quite a number of capable persons--as in fifth century BCE Athens or eighteenth century CE America--the number of persons incapable of developing the ability of thinking for themselves--among other defects--meant that the entire culture eventually degenerated to the present state of capitalist fascism, imperialism, and militarism.
"Man must become a partaker of the spirit in order to carry its revelations into the physical world. He transforms the earth by implanting in it what he has ascertained in the spiritual world. That is his task. . . |
"Now a new era is to begin, in which thy liberated powers must be applied to further work in the world of the senses. Hitherto thou hast sought only thine own release, but now, having thyself become free, thou canst go forth as a liberator of thy fellows. Until today thou hast striven as an individual, but now seek to coordinate thyself with the whole, so that thou mayst bring into the supersensible world not thyself alone, but all things else existing in the world of the senses. Ye all did perforce descend into the sense-world to gather powers needed for a higher world. To separate thyself from thy fellows would mean to abuse those very powers which thou couldst not have developed save in their company. . ."
"Not . . . until popular government had been made possible by the diffusion of intelligence was the world ripe for the realization of such a form of society. Until that time the idea, like the soul waiting for a fit incarnation, must remain without social embodiment. Selfish rulers thought of the masses only as instruments for their own aggrandizement, and if they had interested themselves in a more exact organization of industry it would only have been with a view of making that organization the means of a more complete tyranny. Not till the masses themselves became competent to rule was a serious agitation possible or desirable for an economic organization on a co-operative basis."|
"No inventions or peerless presentations of any form of human conceptions are as important as personal demonstration of the harmonious living which comes of higher consciousness." |
The novella has been written for those readers who are genuinely interested in the possibility of actually participating in a cooperative commonwealth community enterprise. If you find you are seriously interested in helping to develop a cooperative community, you may want to see if you have the intellectual and financial qualifications for membership in this cooperative community as outlined in the novella.Only if you're convinced that a new form of political-economic-social system must be produced to replace the soul-destroying machinations of fascist capitalism we now suffer under will you have a chance of understanding this novella.
"The problem is to find a form of association which will defend and protect with the whole common force the person and goods of each associate, and in which each, while uniting himself with all, may still obey himself alone, and remain as free as before." |
"Say to yourselves: the little group of us here have waked up a little sooner than the rest of them, can see the danger a little clearer, are passionately convinced of the thing to be done. Then we're the ones to do it. It's only the conviction that we are the ones to do it that is going to accomplish it." |
1 See the author's book The Perennial Tradition explicating the secret legacy, the single stream of initiatory teaching flowing through all the great schools of mysticism and genuine philosophy.